This DIY mirror project makes it super easy to give a boring piece a romantic antique look. Here’s a quick step-by-step on how to distress a mirror


  • A framed mirror
  • Protective gloves
  • Protective eyewear
  • A mask
  • Paint stripper (we used Duram Durastripp)
  • A paintbrush
  • A scraper
  • Cotton rags (strips of old T-shirt work well)
  • Pool acid (we used HTH Easy Acid)
  • A spray bottle
  • Paper towels
  • Black spray paint


  1. Remove the back and frame from the mirror. Keep it aside; you’ll need to reattach this later.
  2. First, remove the grey paint backing of the mirror. In a well-ventilated area and wearing your protective gear, brush a thick layer of paint stripper onto the back of the mirror. Leave the stripper on for a few hours, checking frequently. When the paint begins to bubble and peel, it’s time to remove it. Wipe the stripper off with a cotton rag, or rinse it off under running water. You may need to repeat this step until the silver backing is revealed. Be patient; this step can be time consuming.

TIP: If the paint is not coming off easily, you may have to lightly scrape it. Be gentle when doing this, as you don’t want to scratch the mirror’s surface.

  1. Once the grey backing has been removed, and once again wearing your protective gear, pour the pool acid into a spray bottle and spray onto the mirror where you want antique spots. This will create a spattering effect. The more you spray, the more ‘antiqued’ your mirror will look, but rather spray a small amount at a time, as you can always go back and antique some more if necessary.

TIP: Mirrors naturally tend to age from the outside in, so keep that in mind for a more authentic look.

  1. Leave the acid on for about a minute or until it removes the reflective surface. Keep an eye on the acid’s effect and wipe off a small spot at regular intervals until the acid has worn the silver from the mirror to your liking.
  2. Use paper towels to blot the excess acid off the mirror and rinse it again with water. Dry with a cotton rag.
  3. Finish by applying black spray paint to the back of mirror. Be sure to spray the entire surface, as this will protect the mirrored coating.
  4. Once the paint has dried, reattach the backing and frame you removed in the first step.